New York medical marijuana advocates and patient advocates have fought for months for expansions to the state’s program. Their voices have been heard, and the Department of Health is already acting on the decided changes. One of the biggest changes is the increase in dispensaries that will be permitted to operate statewide.
Initially, only 20 medical marijuana dispensaries were going to be permitted in the state, according to Lohud. Understanding that this would mean 1 dispensary for every 990,000 people in the state, the Department of Health has agreed to increase the number of medical marijuana dispensaries to 40 statewide. While this still won’t be enough, it’s a starting point.
Changes were also made to:
- Allow 5 more medical marijuana production companies
- Allow nurse practitioners/physician assistants to certify medical marijuana patients
- Removed restrictions regarding the number of products a company is permitted to make
- Home delivery will be allowed
- Chronic pain will be included on the list of qualifying conditions
These are big improvements to the existing medical marijuana program. The Department of Health is taking steps slowly, as it is still a very new program for the state. Further expansion is still necessary, but the state will make changes as the program develops and as they are needed.